When I was still a very young man after graduation, as an architect from the Milan Polytechnic, upon hearing me out lamenting my apparent difficulty in taking a firm decision about a future toward which channelling my restless energy, my senior and well respected mentor once said to me: “Giorgio, resign yourself … choosing just means relinquishing! In other words make up your mind, man, make your firm choice and get on with it, without ever turning your head back. Sound advise, no doubt.
I pretended to take it in my stride, but in my heart there was an insidious, treacherous little voice that was softly whispering to me: ‘No way, Sir … I want it all’. Which also meant risking making many serious mistakes.
I wasn’t talking, of course, about any material goods or the futile apparatuses of status, for which I never had any cravings, nor any of the required skills nor talents, or even less the needed time.
The voice was talking about wanting to remain on the main track of all the wonderful things in life that animated me since childhood, well prompted, as they were, by extraordinary parenting.
It meant working with clay, drawing, painting, as well of course practising also as an architect.
Owing to my idiosyncrasy for ideology, dogma, formula or fashionable trend compliance, my sculpture became deeply introspective surging from the varying flux of the 'dream-scape' or oniric semi wakefulness, leading me to discover horizons that I had never expected. Instead my painting developed to be outwardly and eagerly inquisitive of the perennial fascination with the soft lure coming the immortal 'femscape'. Finally my architecture wanted to be boldly 'stereogenic', searching for original, appropriate form, coherent with the first subliminal spark of intuition prompted by any oncoming project-theme, offering novel design adventures.
In any of those endeavours always was I driven by the yearning for 'sculpting the light' in its multiple ever-changing, marvellous guises, and pertinent to my chosen art forms.
All of which things I did in various places and stages of my life, also enjoying great companionship, from many memorable fonts, happily encountered along the long life journey.
But there was more.
In fact I also ended up as being a graduate student in the State, apprenticing as young architect in my own country, in the UK, Canada and in the US, becoming a university urban planning lecturer in England for over a decade, and there the Italian Vice Consul for the County of Nottinghamshire, a visiting lecturer in urban design at ABU in Zaria, Nigeria; furthermore entering international design competitions in Italy, the UK and Australia.
None of which was ever contemplated on the early expectations over my destiny, nor was it in them that later in life I would also make it as a new entry in the field of publishing, with a book, naturally concerning the trek of my own life experiences, which may or may not be of any interest to anyone.
Nonetheless I felt the urge for taking that off my chest as well, maybe also out of a sense of due deference, recognition and acknowledgement for the many precious gifts received along the way.
I’m writing these notes on the date of my 79th birthday. I’ve had two families, three offspring.
Two from the first one, bearing one of each, now adults, living on either sides of the Pond, with their own families, making me a great-parent with three grand-children from each one; and finally a second family with a younger girl in Rome, where I now work and live.
It might have well all been a garland of mistakes, who can tell, nor has it always been an easy fare without frustrating down turns or crushing disappointments, bringing one down to tears, and often astonished despair, but believe me, on balance no regrets on any of the choices made at any one of the very key turning points that marked the path.
As a clever funny man once proclaimed: “La vita è bella!”
Rome, 25th September 2015